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Introducing The Chrysalis Brothers… They’ll be here all week

Sometimes my kids ask for something and because I find educational value in what they’ve asked for, I will get it immediately… okay, maybe it’s just because I think it would be fun…… but the point is this, sometimes I just get it for them … A couple of years ago my youngest just had to have a butterfly habitat. You know, the kind where you watch caterpillars turn into beautiful butterflies right before your very eyes… Yep, we got it and once we got it home the conversation between my husband and I went something like this….

Me: Great, we’re going to have to take this back.

Chris: Why?

Me: They didn’t give us everything.

Chris: Here let me see… (He takes it and looks at it)… It’s all here

Me: No, it’s missing the caterpillars

Chris: You have to order them

Me: Order them?!

Chris: Yes… what, you thought they came in the box?

Me: Um, Maybe…

Chris: How  could they have survived in the box like that?

Me: Freeze dried.

Chris: Freeze dried?  That would kill them

Me: Are you sure?

Chris: Yes, I’m pretty sure.

Me: Doesn’t it work for Sea Monkeys? ….(the thrifty side of me totally kicked in) Ugh, I don’t want to buy caterpillars

So the Butterfly Habitat sat empty until one day I happened to luck into a cute, little, furry caterpillar crawling across the driveway.  I grabbed it, ran inside and announced my find to the family.  Nobody shared my excitement but it didn’t deter me one bit… I was going to watch it turn into a beautiful butterfly and they would all be sorry for their lack of enthusiasm.  It lived in the habitat for a day or so.  Apparently caterpillars eat more than air because I had no clue what to feed him and, well, lets just say he went on to his eternal reward after grass didn’t satisfy his caterpillar metabolism.  No worries though… I did a little research and it was a terrible caterpillar that was a moth larvae that has been a horse killer here in Kentucky….. so, I’m actually a hero… but that is not the point… The point is, I didn’t want to buy caterpillars but the habitat doesn’t work if you don’t.  Fortunately my 6-year-old quickly forgot about the habitat and we went on with life.

Last Christmas, however, a package arrived in the mail and my cousins had sent my now 7 1/2-year-old a brand new habitat as a gift.  I will admit I felt the excitement jump back into my spirit when I thought about the caterpillar metamorphosis process, but still, there were no freeze dried caterpillars. So with constant urging and a pitiful looking sad face from my youngest, I broke down and ordered the caterpillars a few months later… okay, it was a lot of urging.

So the caterpillars, a.k.a. The Chrysalis Brothers, arrived and we watched them grow from tiny, little caterpillars to gluttonous, lazy, about to burst, huge caterpillars… it was actually pretty amazing at how fast they grew.  And soon they began to take their spots and form their very own chrysalis at the top of their habitat jar.  Again, amazing to see God’s creativity in their little lives… so for days they sat and we waited for them to step out and show themselves as the beautiful Painted Ladies they were supposed to be.  It happened and though we didn’t snuggle them or call all of our family with our excitement, we did find great pleasure in watching them mature and be able to fly.  So interesting to have such a close-up view and watch.

The instructions said that we were to let them go after a couple of days of observation so they could go into the world and multiply. We knew that day was coming… there was a sense of accomplishment with a bit of disappointment for having them for such a short period.  We let them go and they flew like they couldn’t possibly fly in their small habitat…now they had the whole world… or at least the neighborhood and it was actually beautiful to watch.

Watching them was a reminder to me that change is difficult… even when it is good change…. it often affects more than just those experiencing the biggest change.  But when God ordains the change there is so much to be excited about and so much to be expected that staying in the little “habitat” inhibits what God can do.

In Acts 11, Peter experienced others wanting him to stay in his “habitat” when he began eating with uncircumcised men. The circumcised believers began to complain until Peter told them how God ordained what he was doing.  Then the men who had complained opened the habitat door and allowed God to do his thing.

I can totally relate to the complaining men….

My neighbors are moving tomorrow….These aren’t just any neighbors… these are two people with whom I spent time with daily at work (I worked with both of them for several years) We’ve spent the day at the office together only to bring our families together at night for dinner.  We have shared quite a few Thanksgiving and Easter dinners together, prayed together, we’ve each been included in each other’s family holiday times, spent accumulated hours talking on the porch or making s’mores at their fire pit and we’ve borrowed everything from mayonnaise to toilet paper. …. these aren’t just friends or neighbor’s … they are unrelated family.  They are also in ministry and God has called them to another place.

You know, it’s easy to be selfless when it doesn’t really matter… the Chrysalis Brothers left and though it was fun watching them and would have been fun if we kept them longer, it was also fun to let them go…. But when it matters, it is easy to be selfish… I don’t want my neighbors to go…. I want more hours of talking on the porch….I want those shared times together… I want to hide their “for sale” sign and I want them to stay…but God has called them to where they are going.  They need to go to experience God’s freedom.

I love them and will miss them terribly, but I know that doing what God calls us to do is the only way we can truly see the beauty of the flight.  If we keep them from that then we only see a bit of what God can do.  I must open the “habitat” and let them go… didn’t say it would be easy… I know they will be such a great addition to the state of Missouri.  I love you, Howard and Shirley.  You can fly away now…. Godspeed.

Acts 11

1The apostles and the brothers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. 2So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him 3and said, “You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.”

4Peter began and explained everything to them precisely as it had happened: 5“I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. I saw something like a large sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to where I was. 6I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, reptiles, and birds of the air. 7Then I heard a voice telling me, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.’

8“I replied, ‘Surely not, Lord! Nothing impure or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’

9“The voice spoke from heaven a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’ 10This happened three times, and then it was all pulled up to heaven again.

11“Right then three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea stopped at the house where I was staying. 12The Spirit told me to have no hesitation about going with them. These six brothers also went with me, and we entered the man’s house. 13He told us how he had seen an angel appear in his house and say, ‘Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. 14He will bring you a message through which you and all your household will be saved.’

15“As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning. 16Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with[a]water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17So if God gave them the same gift as he gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could oppose God?”

18When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.”

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Posted by on July 3, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Stop! In the name of pug….well, more like poodle.. and Nix the Resolutions

Taking the back roads has its perks.  Things like few stop lights, if any… scenery prettier than buildings and concrete… and just all around less boring…. I also like to think that they are shortcuts but often times they take just as long if not longer because of the hills and curves.  Anyway, the other morning I had stopped to grab a cup of coffee and then began rushing myself to work through the not-so-shortcut back road shortcut.  I came zooming over the hill only to come to a screeching halt….. coffee was sloshing, but no problem for me… the lid stayed tight.

I looked ahead to find why traffic wasn’t moving and there, sitting in the middle of the road, was a little bitty poodle.  He was dirty and matted and had apparently decided that the line in the middle of the road was a comfy spot.  Amazingly, that little animal was backing up traffic about 7 cars deep on both sides of the road.  The school bus that was leading the line of cars opposite of me was honking the horn…. the dog just looked up… I wondered if possibly the dog was deaf but it seemed as if he heard the noise but just was too stubborn to move.  Finally, after sitting in traffic for a bit, a lady a few cars in front of me hopped out of her and started walking toward the dog.  Still the dog sat.  The lady began yelling at the dog and clapping her hands. In essence, pushing the dog without touching him.   The dog moved…. but only a small step… she now sat in front of the bus…. the lady continued clapping until the dog finally retreated to the middle of another road.

Traffic began moving along as normal once again.  I noticed as I passed by that there was another lady who had maneuvered her way out of traffic to the side of the road to see if she could rescue this poor little, confused, dirty, matted dog.  She very gently and slowly walked up to the dog and though I couldn’t hear what she was saying, it was apparent that she was talking sweetly in that “you’re a good puppy, aren’t you” voice.   You would think that this unattractive little dog would have been excited to hop in a warm car with a sweet person who obviously cared about its welfare, but instead it barked and growled and when the lady backed up a bit the poodle took off running into a tangled brush area just off of the road.

As I drove past I could see the look on the helpful lady’s face and I think it was one of disbelief or frustration or that of helplessness.  She had done all she could do.  The poodle made its own choice.

A part of me chuckled at the whole situation… a little dog holding up so much traffic.  He got warnings and he even got sympathy but even after he begrudgingly moved, he accepted nothing from anyone and continued on the same path that he was already on. All I could think of was what a sad, little stubborn (or maybe dumb) dog.  And it was then that I think I got a little kick in my rear …. you know, I tend to be just like that little dog.  I’ll sit in traffic (theoretically, not technically) … as dangerous as it might be… and a warning may push me to move a little bit, but even at times when I am completely moved, I may run back to the same old routine. Are ya with me?

I usually don’t make  New Year’s resolutions but the New Year  is a great time to begin a new routine.  I heard on the radio yesterday morning that the average person will have abandoned their resolutions by day 18.  But I have also heard that it takes 6 weeks to create a new habit… so pushing beyond day 18 for a little over another 18 days will create a changed person.  I can imagine that if that poodle had gotten into that car, he would have been cleaned up, nourished and ended up looking like a cute, lovable little guy.  That is a good ending to a bad situation.  So what makes us stop before day 18 rolls around? Could it be fear of the unknown, fear of change, fear of failing, fear of stepping out of what is comfortable?….

But you know something else… there were two women in that situation who were very important… the one who moved the dog and the one who tried to rescue the dog… Sometimes we don’t even realize we are in the middle of the road and we need a reminder, someone to move us.  I think that is where God jumps in and does the motivating that gets us to move and provides the rescuing of our lives… maybe it is a friend or family member who urges us to get help, maybe it is an invite to church, maybe it is a song or story that is heard or maybe we look up and step out of ourselves and see the lives we are affecting (just like the backed up traffic).  Then we find ourselves at a crossroad to an encouragement, a safe place, a hope…. a loving God…..or back to the same old tangled brush.

Maybe you are a like that little dog in the road…. possibly in a dangerous situation… maybe it is a habit that is killing you,  a lifestyle that consumes you,  a relationship that alienates you, an attitude that robs you,  an ailment that embarrasses you, or a spiritual neglect that is calling you… Whatever it is, you don’t have to sit in the road or run to the tangled brush… you can hop in the car and be changed.

This can be the year to not make a resolution to change but to actually change.  That’s my prayer.

Philippians 4:13

13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2010 in Devotions, Faith, Life Stories

 

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Hugging God…….Thirty things I’m thankful for

I once read that blessings are a hug from God and counting your blessings is giving God a hug back. I had a challenge earlier this month to daily write one thing that I am thankful for until Thanksgiving day arrived.   I have been faithful to that challenge but once I started writing them I began thinking of so many things, so I decided to add to my daily list by listing thirty random things.  Here we go:

 

  1. baby squirrels- Apparently these little guys are quite the popular internet search…and because I posted one little photo of a cute little baby squirrel in February, my blog gets a great number of hits daily just to look at my little squirrel. It is a great confidence booster when I look at my visitor numbers… I’m thankful that they help keep my blog alive.  I will definitely be embarrassed if I find out that “Baby Squirrel” is some rapper’s name or something like that
  2. creativity- I’m a person who loves to create…. whether it be a story or a sculpted caricature of someone….It is what I love to do… I’m thankful for a creative Creator and amazed at what He created
  3. gloves- don’t have to touch things that are yucky if I don’t want….
  4. crocs- the heavenly shoe of the wide-footed human like me… cavemen would have loved them…
  5. my parents-  by example they taught me how to work through arguments, dance, laugh, love each other and love God and church….
  6. my husband- he makes me laugh, is a great dad, incredibly dependable and is just an all around great husband…
  7. my children- such a great gift to be called “Mom”… they bring an unexpected joy… even when they are old enough to roll their eyes at you.
  8. bug spray- genius invention…. Take that, Mr. Mosquito!
  9. grace- thankful that I don’t get what I deserve…. because I can never do enough to get the good portion of deserving  all by myself….
  10. the alphabet- abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz…. may be a lot of them but thankful there are no ~ or ` or other symbols over the tops of them….
  11. medicine- had I been living 2000 years ago, I can imagine that without medicine I probably would have been one on the side of the road in need of healing when Christ walked by
  12. health- thankful that, though I should focus more on taking care of myself (I see a New Year’s resolution here) I can walk, talk, and do most anything I want to do because I have good health
  13. my home- I’ll confess…. there are times when I wish I had a bigger yard or one more bedroom or a live in maid, but I am blessed to have what I have and know it
  14. my co-workers– not too many have co-workers that feel like family…. I do and am thankful
  15. my family- I’ve already mentioned my parents so I’m looking at the other ones that I call family….no siblings but cousins, aunts and uncles… brothers and sisters-in- law, father and mother-in-law(deceased- but wonderfully remembered), a wonderful step mother-in-law…. so many great memories and wonderful little bundles of precious baby cousins
  16. my friends- some to laugh with, some to weep with, some both,  some who have passed in and out of my life, all have a special place in my heart
  17. waterfalls- not sure why they are so beautiful but it regardless of their size…. they are wonderful to enjoy
  18. cute animals-baby squirrels aren’t the only little things that are so cute… puppies, kittens, baby rabbits, baby bears, etc… well, except baby narwhals
  19. laughter- not at the expense of others but wholesome laughter might just bring the world together
  20. sense of humor- glad I have one, even if I am the only one who thinks I’m funny
  21. those who have sacrificed- sometimes I wonder why I live where I live…. how did I get to be so blessed?  Then I think about it …. not just happenstance that we live the way we do… some fought against much so we can have much freedom
  22. antibacterial items- can you imagine surgery without it??   that’s what I’m talking about
  23. the beauty of seasons- all goes back to creativity… I love red/orange leaves and the bright gray sky just before a good snow..and a loaded tree of cherry blossoms…. and the heat of sun on the concrete in the summer
  24. clay- maybe you have to be me to be thankful for it but it provides me with hours of entertainment
  25. computers- can’t imagine having to type this blog on a typewriter or by hand…. also am thankful that they have gotten smaller and smarter
  26. spices-cinnamon, garlic, salt, pepper…… just to name a few ……without them it would just be sugar toast for breakfast, bread with spaghetti….you get the picture
  27. chocolate-enough said
  28. peanuts- peanuts make peanut butter…. protein and yummy
  29. fruit-something good for you and tastes good too…. bananas, fuji apples, grapes, kiwi, raisins, watermelon, actually all melons, strawberries, cherries(my personal favorite)….. shall I go on?
  30. A Loving God- anyone who makes a way for you to get to them must love you a lot…. thankful that the Creator of all did that for me…. and for you…. so when I am thankful, that is who gets my thanks… without the Creator and his grace, all of the other things are pointless.

The challenge is on…. can you list thirty???

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2009 in Faith, Fun, Life Stories

 

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Tell me about it, Moses P. Diddy Hall…

flipperI don’t know why I have such high expectations for the animals that I choose to own.  Maybe those expectations were formed because of reruns of great shows such as Flipper (though I never owned a dolphin), Lassie or Fury…. or maybe it was Lady, my cousin’s collie who was incredible well behaved… or Babe, my uncle’s dog that was showbiz intelligent…..or Benji. How could I forget Benji? Whatever the reason, with a little training, I knew it couldn’t possibly be that difficult for my very own dog to become something of legend… nothing short of a human on four paws.

So let’s see, first there was Gustavia.  Gussy was a little white poodle who chased cars, chased cattle and rolled in manure… smart dog.  Then later came Rascal.  An adorable little dachshund that turned out to be an incredible bully in the amateur dog show circuit.  Then there was Sam.  Another poodle who, for all practical purposes, was a pretty good dog, but he did bark at himself in the mirror. (Wouldn’t it be funny if people acted surprised to see themselves in the mirror each time?) There were more pets down the line… Buddy 1, Buddy 2, Bandit… and some cats, hamsters, and even a skunk (Yes, you read that correctly) but none have met the superstar expectations that I have believed in for so long… that is, until recently… .

Now, our ever-lovable shih-tzu, Moses P. Diddy Hall (a.k.a. Moe) is a dog that when told to sit, he sits…. well,  he might lie down…. or  possibly he will continue to go about what he was doing.  He is also a dog that wears a diaper… well, technically it is a “belly belt” but you get the idea.   Moe also knows to get in his bed when told, he knows to “hit the rock”(our family’s ultra hip term for shaking paws), he knows to go to the car when the van door opens.   He even hates hanging out at the dog park… he waits by the exit gate until we are ready to take him home.  See, it is hard for me to decide if either Moe is very intellegent and just pretending to be a dog to get out the whole “work dog” group, or if he is just like all of my other dogs in the past…. just a regular ol’ dog.   I have been leaning toward the regular ol’ dog thing for quite some time, that is, until one night not too long ago. Moe at Dog Park Gate

Moses P. Diddy Hall is not allowed to be on the couch.  He has his bed. He has his spot near our feet.  He is totally fine not to be on the couch, but on occasion there are those special times where we give in and give him some supervised couch time.  Such as it was on that evening when I was certian that Moses P. Diddy Hall would be paying for my children’s college education.  I was sitting on the couch and Moe was comfortably resting on my daughter who was on the couch next to me.  Allison’s position was perfect as she laid on her back because if I turned my head slightly then Moe and I were face to face.

As Moe and I looked at each other, just as usual, I said something to him.  I can’t even remember what it was but when I said it, something amazing happened.  Moe began to talk back!…. and I’m not talking barking kind of talk… it was conversation kind of talk.  Now, I might not have thought anything about it if I hadn’t seen the youtube clip of funny talking dogs but I knew Moe was trying to tell me something.  I kept asking him, “What is it, Moe?” And he kept voicing something that was clearly a concoction of vocal movements that were trying to form words.  To get him to continue his talking ability I started looking at him and saying things like, “Mama” (I never think of my dogs as kids so this was very awkward for me) and ” I love you.”  Moe would look at me and try to repeat it.

I was so excited I could hardly believe it.  I had a plan. He and I were going to work on this daily until he could speak in conversation.  I started counting the dollars in my head.  I called my husband, who was out of town (explanation of the couch time that Moe was getting), and told him the whole story.  He didn’t share my enthusiasm.

The following day, Moses P. Diddy Hall and I went to work.  I got down in his face and began talking to him.  “Mama,” I said.  Moe looked at me.   “Mama,” I continued.  Still Moe looked at me.  I changed my pitch.  I changed my tempo.  Moe looked at me then cocked his head and looked away.  It was time to change my game plan.  I began the whole, ” I love you” verbiage.  Moses P. Diddy Hall looked at me and walked away.  I didn’t get it.

I began telling my story to anyone who would listen.  My husband, my other daughters, but it was while I was telling a friend about my incredibly talented, Hollywood bound dog that would surely be whisked away to star in his own movie, when my hopes and dreams for him came to an abrupt halt.  Allison felt it was time that she stepped in and prevented me from the inevitable… making a fool of myself.  She quietly pulled me to the side and said, “Mom, I was blowing in his face.” It seems that the only reason Moe was “talking” was because he apparently doesn’t like to have someone blowing in his face.  I was stunned. Moe is just a plain ol’ dog …. he is no different than any other dog that I have ever had.  After the initial shock of the whole confession, I found it all quite funny.  Fortunately, I was halted from looking like a fool and fortunately, I listened to what she had to say.

I wish faith was that simple.  You know, something like….we may be a bit out of line, acting foolishly, forgetting to include God in our everyday life and then we are told we are being a bit foolish and we fall back into line…. that would be simple.  I guess sometimes it might be that way, but there are those other times when we get so busy doing the right things in life that we may not realize we are doing them on our own…..depending on our human ability rather than trusting in God’s ability.   In Galatians, Paul comes down pretty hard on the people.  He even states that they are being deceived and they don’t even realize it because they are so caught up in living by the religious law that they have forgotten about what Christ did for them/us all.   Still today, we may not be in Galatia, but we still tend to lean on our human ability, thoughts and decisions rather than allowing God to guide our way. I wonder what would happen if we all began to lean on the gift God gave us rather than wearing ourselves down and eventually looking foolish……

If Moses P. Diddy Hall really had the gift of gab, I’m sure he’d have the answer.

Galatians 3

1You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? 3Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? 4Have you suffered so much for nothing—if it really was for nothing? 5Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?

6Consider Abraham: “He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”[a] 7Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. 8The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.”[b] 9So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2009 in Devotions, Faith, Fun, Life Stories

 

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Summer? Did someone say vacation? I didn’t think so… Part 1,

classroomWhen I was a child movies and TV always seemed to make it look as if teachers would always want a report about your summer when you returned to school.

“Class, your first assignment is a two page report on,’What I did this summer.'”

Well, that little assignment just may be  exactly what the media propaganda people need to further their argument about it’s affect on society because I waited year after year for that assignment and it never happened.   My teachers never asked for that report of my summer and I always felt that I was missing something ….. deep down I wanted to be able to tell about  it (However, I’m sure if it would have been assigned I would have balked at the whole project) But nonetheless,  so much can happen in a few short months and I am going to take advantage of this opportunity to catch up,  get back into the swing of things and share my summer with anyone who wants to read about it…. including former teachers.

So here is what I did this summer-

ummm…

(Insert Awkward Silence)

ummm…..

Yep, that’s right…I did nothing….

Now before those who write my paycheck begin to scratch my name off of the payroll … let me explain….

I did nothing outstanding, nothing noteworthy, nothing overly interesting but yet my summer was extremely busy, full and lively and I lived, learned and was reminded of  a lot.

Things like-

  • I am a Loser…. (No need to jump to defend-I’m okay with it- Matthew 16:25)
  • Stories can get SO turned around
  • We all seem to jump with our emotions (I know I can be guilty of that)
  • Friends are priceless ..(particularly when you are stressed)
  • ugly dogs can be cute…
  • Everyone has daily challenges but some are far greater than I could ever know
  • You don’t have to do the “same old thing”
  • Inward is easier than outward… and outward isn’t always comfortable
  • Children need incredible role models
  • Fame will kill you… or at least fame and a heart for fame
  • Most likely when you die people will say nice things about you… even if they thought you were terrible
  • Waiting to say something nice about someone until after they die is a shame
  • A monkey is not a farm animal
  • Enjoying creativity has its advantages and disadvantages
  • Comfortable (though I love a comfy pair of  P.J’s ) is not always good
  • Fun doesn’t have to be expensive
  • Fresh air, fresh popcorn and a movie are a summer delight
  • My dog talks… sort of
  • and so much more….

Amazing how nothing can be filled with so much something… where do I begin to explain?

Hang on for part 2….

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2009 in Fun, Life Stories

 

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No more Naps!! Well, unless I want a Hot Tub….

woman sleepingAn innocent little nap and poof! I’m a builder.  Yes, it may sound like I was dreaming and although I have been reading about Solomon building the temple… I wasn’t dreaming……..

Several weekends ago, I took a little afternoon nap.  While napping my husband thought that it would be a bit funny to snap a photo of his lovely wife sleeping her little heart out while he was also being overly productive and digging holes in our back yard.  Now, we had not discussed digging holes in the yard so when he came in with the news of his hard work while I was snoozing, I found it quite amusing…. killing time digging holes when he could have been relaxing.  It was during my laughing that he pulled out the enemy… the sleeping beauty photo (that’s me)… I began to listen to what he had to say at that point.  Well, he thought I was listening but I was really trying to concoct a plan to get his phone away from him and delete the photo… During this time I thought I heard him say, “Blah, blah, blah, sleeping, blah, blah, blah, digging holes, blah, blah, blah, 4×4’s, blah, blah, blah, patio, blah, blah, blah, pergola.”  I smiled, nodded in agreement and went to look at the holes in our yard.  There they were… four two-foot deep holes at the edge of each corner of our patio.  For years we have tried to cover our patio area with some sort of shade canopy but our backyard happens to be in a wind tunnel and after the first big storm of the season hits, the canopy flies away or at least bends to unrecognizable shapes.  Apparently, what I agreed to while drifting in and out of photo deleting plans, was helping him build a pergola over our patio. I might as well have agreed to helping build the temple in Bible because I had to clue what he was talking about.  I finally had to go look up the word pergola because I was getting the whole pergola/gondola  thing way mixed up and couldn’t figure out how four posts would mean anything for a gondola other than a docking spot and then I couldn’t figure out how an Italian boat would add value to our home… or even shade.

Anyway, after hoping the idea would go away and trying to find a better way than building it ourselves… I gave up and gave in to what will now be always known as the “Pergola Project”.  We borrowed a truck, bought the lumber, printed out free plans and went to work.  Neither one of us knowing what we were doing began to measure, cut and level…. We were clueless except for the fact that we had faith in my husband’s pergola dream and the free online plans.  As we were in the process of building, our neighbors, one by one, began gathering around.  Now, we have Great (that is with a capital G) neighbors and didn’t mind their advice nor their company.  No problem at all.  IMG_0214The problem came to be when we found out something that created in us a whole new feeling of insecurity.  Our neighbor had family visiting…. and it wasn’t just any family visiting…. it happened to be the brother-in-law… the brother-in-law who is a builder….not just any builder…. but a builder of really, really nice homes…. We had to up our standards right then and there.  We couldn’t have him look out the door and laugh at the bumbling amateurs across the yard…. but, it was hopeless.  We were bumbling amateurs and though we were following a plan we were also making it up as we went along. I’m thinking he was well entertained….

Well, with a few setbacks of rain and the end of daylight, the weekend project that we estimated taking about three weeks, actually only took one weekend.  Who knew that we could do it?  Well, I’m not going to give myself a pat on the back until a good windstorm goes through… if it stays grounded in cement then we can consider it a job well done.IMG_0220

So, I am vowing that naps, at least when my husband is home, are off limits.  No more naps… not so much because I could have stopped the Pergola project but because I don’t want another photo taken of me while I sleep… by the way, the sleeping beauty photo is in deletion heaven and I am now looking up more building projects.  I think I want a hot tub….. hmmm, maybe I should take a nap and see if my husband will level out the backyard so we can get started….

2 Chronicles 3

Solomon Builds the Temple

1 Then Solomon began to build the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the LORD had appeared to his father David. It was on the threshing floor of Araunah [j] the Jebusite, the place provided by David. 2 He began building on the second day of the second month in the fourth year of his reign.

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2009 in Faith, Fun, Life Stories

 

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My Very Own Personal Oscars…. And the winner is…..

CB056255I’m not a fan of all the Hollywood Hoopla and hype and often feel like it is way out of control so watching the Oscars is not on my list of things to do…I do however, find some value in honoring some highlights in life.. so I created my own Personal Oscars… Same categories, real people and no one competes against the late Heath Ledger. Here are the winners in each category

Actor in a Leading Role- My husband! Chris told our friend Jeff, who was not in a position to watch a recent college basketball game, that the UK Wildcats were down by 20 points. Chris was amazing as he kept a straight face while watching Jeff in anguish until I blew the whole scene when I revealed that Kentucky was actually winning by 18. uk

Actor in a Supporting Role- My husband! There are so many times when I know my husband is tired or doesn’t feel good but yet is always doing things around the house to help…and almost 100 percent without complaining.

  • Actress in a Leading Role – My neighbor, Alex! Alex planned a wonderful surprise anniversary party for her mom and dad. She planned the whole event, ordered the cake, prepared a cookout at a friend’s house, got everything in order then called her parents to come get her because her car was “broken down”….. Not bad at all for an 18 year old young lady. It was too bad that her parents couldn’t be there though. They were actually at a fundraising event and couldn’t leave. So we all had the anniversary party without them. We did take a picture of everything for them though and later her mom was able to get away and come by. Alex was excellent in not only her call to her parents for car help but in hiding her frustration throughout the whole situation.
  • Actress in a Supporting Role- My daughter Allison! Allison was in the local middle school production of “The Lunch Bunch”. This was the first year that she had the courage to audition and came out with flying colors. Hopefully more stage limelight for her!
  • Animated Feature Film- my daughter Leah! If stop motion is considered animated then she gets the award for “Barbie doll Zombie” (not the original title) on my Iphone
  • Art Direction- My husband! Chris is an amazing behind the scenes kind of guy. He is incredibly creative and often is my go to guy when I need direction in my creativity
  • Cinematography – My friend Marcia! This was a tough one because during our recent ice storm there were so many incredible photos taken of beautiful scenes with great lighting and settings but it was one of Marcia’s photos that inspired me to go take some for myself.
  • Costume Design- Libby Lou’s! My 6 year old spent the day at the mall with her older sisters. I went to pick them up only to find her with pink streaks in her hair, glitter and sparkly hearts and stars on her face.  She was also sporting a Libby Lou’s pink sash along with other Libby Lou paraphernalia… I don’t know why that place is going out of business… We are one of the many who should have paid enough to keep it open.
  • Directing- My daughter, Allison! She is great at directing her little sister to do things and some she herself could even do.
  • Film Editing- My husband and myself! Key phrase, “Turn that off!”
  • Foreign Language Film My daughter Catie! Catie is often known for her ability to make people tilt their heads and ask, “What did she just say?” A few months ago in my attempt to go “greener” I bought a pack of bottled water in which the plastic bottles were made from corn. Catie took one to school for lunch and her friends were commenting about how hippie-like Catie was with her “green” bottled water. Catie said, ” Well, I’m just saving the fresh water so there will be more for others.” All of her friends stopped talking and looked at her in silence with question marks on their faces. “What?” they all asked. Catie, very proudly, chimed back in, “The water is made from corn so therefore others can have the fresh water.” Her friends all had a good laugh when they finally explained to her that it was not the water but the bottle that was made from corn. The girl does make really good grades… really.
  • Makeup- My friend, Robin! This past summer our church had a Family Adventure. The theme was Adventure Island and we took on a theme similar to Pirates of the Caribbean. Robin’s son Alex was a nightly actor and his eye makeup creeped out some and the others of us  laughing until we cried!  Johnny Depp’s makeup artist has nothing on Robin.alex-mobley-eyes
  • Music (Score)My car riders! While listening to music in the car we concoct “Life Soundtracks.” These are songs that play as we see people walking on the sidewalk, jogging/running or doing other activities. So often the song will match the beat they are walking to, making it seem as if that song was meant for them… their “Life Soundtrack.” Try it.. you’ll be amazed and it will probably bring a smile to your face.
  • Music (Song)My daughter Catie! She finally showed the world her beautiful voice by singing a solo in the State Traveling Youth Choir.
  • Best Picture- My daughter, Allison! Normally I love school pictures but this year Allison forgot it was picture day…. and so did her hair. When she brought the proofs home we were pleasantly amazed and humored as we looked at her hair, pulled back and sticking out all over….. matching her cocked smile… oh if I could just show you!
  • Short Film (Animated)My daughter, Allison! She is amazingly animated when telling a story… just ask her to act out Bon Qui Qui at King Burger… Su-curity!
  • Short Film (Live Action)My daughter, Allison! An incredible Stunt Person … read here to find out why this Live “action” award would go to her.
  • Sound Editing- My daughter, Catie! When picking her up from school she is barely in the car 2 minutes before she asks one of two questions, “Can I put my music in?” or “Can I change the channel?”
  • Sound Mixing- Me! I often call my daughter Allison, Catie…..my daughter Leah, Allison … my daughter Catie, Allison and ashamed to say it but sometimes I have called our dog, Moe, Leah.
  • Visual Effects-All of my girls! It is amazing how clean their rooms get when they really want to go somewhere… very visually appealing and almost just as if it was a magical special effect of sorts
  • Writing (Adapted Screenplay)- My friends Melissa and Stephanie! They took a script and made it into something incredible for our Family Adventure… Oh, Snap
  • Writing (Original Screenplay) My daughter Catie! She wrote a children’s book about a cabin boy on the Mayflower.

There you have it… my 2009 Personal Oscars…. And as every good award winner says…. “I want to thank my family, my friends but most of all I want to thank God for making all of this possible.  Thank you.” And you know, I actually mean it!

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2009 in Fun, Life Stories

 

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